Episode 231: Nurses Thrive in a Healthy Work Culture

“Work culture is really how people work together. But in my opinion, there are three major components: it’s the employer, it’s the leadership, and it’s the staff—all staff, we’re not only talking nurses. We know that it takes a village to really make clinical care happen. All three of those components are critical in creating a healthy work environment. The staff component, including the clinical nurses, is key to that,” Linda Laskowski-Jones, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CEN, NEA-BC, FAWM, FAAN, editor-in-chief of Nursing 2022: The Peer-Reviewed Journal of Clinical Excellence, told Jaime Weimer, MSN, RN, AGCNS-BC, AOCNS®, oncology clinical specialist at ONS. Laskowski-Jones led a panel discussion on the topic at the ONS Bridge™ virtual conference in September 2022. You can earn free NCPD contact hours after listening to this episode by completing the evaluation linked below.

Music Credit: “Fireflies and Stardust” by Kevin MacLeod

Licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0

Earn 0.75 contact hours of nursing continuing professional development (NCPD) by listening to the full recording and completing an evaluation at myoutcomes.ons.org by October 28, 2024. The planners and faculty for this episode have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose. ONS is accredited as a provider of NCPD by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Episode Notes

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Highlights From Today’s Episode

“Work culture is really how people work together. But in my opinion, there are three major components: it’s the employer, it’s the leadership, and it’s the staff—all staff, we’re not only talking nurses. We know that it takes a village to really make clinical care happen. All three of those components are critical in creating a healthy work environment. The staff component, including the clinical nurses, is key to that. When you look at how the nurses work together and the environment that they are working in, their teamwork, camaraderie, and connections to each other can actually help those staff make it through when perhaps there may be some challenges with employers or leaders as they work through whatever changes they need to make.” Timestamp (TS) 04:12

“It’s important to recognize that when you motivate and influence people, whether it’s positively or negatively, you’re behaving as a leader. There may be people who have some personal need to feel like they can be the judge of others and that they have a very tight group, and unless you’re looked at favorably by that group, then you don’t have value. So, in this particular type of case, you can have a nursing leader show all the value in the world to that staff, but if you have these cliques where people come in and they feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m working with so-and-so on this particular shift.’ Or ‘I’ve been assigned to this shift permanently. How will I survive?,’ that is a big driver of turnover.” TS 10:40

“Watching someone working with a family or a patient, and when the person comes out when they least expect it, saying something like, ‘That was really an amazing interaction, and a very tough situation, and you handled that beautifully.’ That can go a long way, and it’s all part of value and recognition. . . . Let’s show value where value needs to be shown.” TS 21:24

“That value is a 360-degree type of value where really everyone that you’re working with in the physician-nurse relationship is critical. Recognizing the role that nurses play and looking at the nurses as colleagues is absolutely critical.” TS 22:56

“Right now, in many places still across the country, nurses feel that they don’t have the tools they need to do their job. That of course leads to this negative culture where nurses are very upset, they’re coming in extremely unhappy, and they’re communicating that unhappiness to everybody, and they have very real concerns. And management has taken different approaches to that, in health or not health as the case may be, and now we have to focus on: How do we fix it? And I think those are the factors that led to where we are. We have a lot of work to do, but at the same time, organizations have to also make fundamental changes.” TS 26:45

“Ultimately, I don’t think people on the front line realize how much power they actually have. And the power is in creating effective working relationships, and that includes the nurse-patient interaction, but it also includes working with people.” TS 39:15

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